Alarming new research published last week claims Britain is rapidly becoming a nation of part-timers. Research conducted by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) found that, since the recession, only one in every forty newly-created jobs is a full-time position.
With the exception of self-employment, the number of full-time positions fell during the recession and has yet to recover fully. In 2008 the number of people in full-time work stood at 64%. With the media chock full of positive headlines about low unemployment and a booming labour market it may come as a shock to learn this figure has dropped in 2014. The number of people in full-time employment currently stands at 62%. It may not look like much but a 2% drop is equivalent to nearly 700,000 full-time employees.
Although more than 1.08 million jobs have been created since 2008, only 26,000 can be confirmed as full-time roles; the majority of jobs created since the recession have been part-time.
While the latest employment figures are predicted to show an increase in employment across all sectors, job seekers should not expect to see a significant rise in the number of full-time jobs.
TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “While more people are in work there are still far too few full-time employee jobs for everyone who wants one. It means many working families are on substantially lower incomes as they can only find reduced hours jobs or low-paid self-employment.”
The TUC conceded part-time employment is a viable option for many people. However, they emphasised that many part-time workers would prefer to be working full-time.
A spokesperson for the UK Treasury has labelled the TUC’s research as “misleading”.
They added: “In the last two years of the previous government, employment fell by 658,000 and the number of full-time employees fell by 929,000. Since the coalition government came into power employment has risen by almost 2 million, with three-quarters of the increase coming from full-time workers.”
Official figures published last Wednesday showed a drop in unemployment, which is now at its lowest level since 2008. The data was backed up by figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which demonstrated a drop in the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.
However, in light of troubling forecasts from the GMB, a general trades union, the statistics are not sufficient to quell the concerns of workers. The GMB revealed around thirty councils have confirmed budget cuts for next year, which could mean the axing of up to 20,000 jobs, with more councils expected to announce similar cuts in the coming weeks.
National Secretary for the GMB, Brian Strutton said: “Unsustainable job losses mean it is impossible to provide even statutory minimum services in many local councils. This is bad for local communities and the economy as a whole.”